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Metal and Plastic Patternmaker

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What You Need to Know About Metal and Plastic Patternmaker

Job Description: Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

Life As a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker: What Do They Do?

  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Apply plastic-impregnated fabrics or coats of sealing wax or lacquer to patterns used to produce plastic.
  • Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.
  • Construct platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.
  • Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, compute dimensions, and plan operational sequences.
  • Design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.

Skills Needed to be a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

These are the skills Metal and Plastic Patternmakers say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Jobs

  • Fixture Builder
  • Stencil Cutter
  • Pattern Developer
  • Pattern Fitter
  • Pattern Maker Programmer

Are There Job Opportunities for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers?

In the United States, there were 3,400 jobs for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker. There will be an estimated 300 positions for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker are Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon. Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, North Carolina, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Make?

The typical yearly salary for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers is somewhere between $28,890 and $67,250.

Salary Ranges for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers

Metal and Plastic Patternmakers who work in Kansas, Oregon, or Indiana, make the highest salaries.

How much do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,390
California $46,870
Colorado $35,030
Florida $43,260
Georgia $44,880
Illinois $52,860
Indiana $50,250
Iowa $53,740
Kansas $59,450
Michigan $48,580
Minnesota $47,830
New York $49,640
North Carolina $35,380
Ohio $45,470
Oregon $63,180
Pennsylvania $47,430
South Carolina $47,620
Tennessee $50,600
Texas $41,190
Wisconsin $47,070

What Tools & Technology do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Metal and Plastic Patternmakers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • Mastercam

How do I Become a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker?

Education needed to be a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker:

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Work Experience

Who Employs Metal and Plastic Patternmakers?

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Metal and Plastic Patternmakers employed by various industries.

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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